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8 Times When Teammates Looked Like Battering One Another

8 Times When Teammates Looked Like Battering One Another
By Conor Neville Updated

Steven Gerrard accused Mario Balotelli of being disrespectful in front of some television cameras during the week. Given sports teams propensity to close ranks, this is the TV equivalent of an unmerciful bollocking which almost results in blows in private conversation. These rare instances of teammates almost  coming to blows are to be cherished...

Bruce Grobbelaar v Steve McManaman

If you were looking for one moment that summed up Liverpool in the Graeme Souness era, you could do worse than the sight of Bruce Grobbelaar ragging on his callow teammate during the Merseyside derby of September 1993.

Liverpool lost the match 2-0 and McMananman's limp clearance from a corner set up Mark Ward who smashed the opener home. Grobbelaar took the setback in his stride.


Tuta v the rest of the Venezia team

A curious and little known one, but possibly the most interesting of the lot.

Brazilian striker Tuta had just been signed by Venezia midway through the 1998-99 season. During their home game with Bari played in dense fog in January 1999, the score was tied at 1-1 when Tuta did something which enraged the rest of his Venezia team.


He scored a goal.

Delighted with himself - as you would be - he ran off celebrating, expecting to be mobbed by joyous teammates. However, it dawned on him that many on his team had no interest in celebrating with him. Those who did join him, did so in a very subdued fashion.

Tuta reported later on that he had been abused by both sets of players as he left the pitch, with his striking partner Maniero being particularly upset. The Brazilian said that Maniero had told him that '1-1 was good' and it would be better had he not scored.


The investigation went nowhere after the Venezia players closed ranks and Tuta spluttered that there may have been a misunderstanding due to his poor English. He was ostracized and was back in Brazil before long.


Dani Osvaldo v Mauro Icardi

Another Italian incident here but different in nature. This argument evoked memories of schoolyard squabbles for every playground superstar watching.

Osvaldo's complaint was an old one. The other guy just wont pass the ball.



Kieron Dyer v Lee Bowyer

The second of these rows to break out in a dressing room ruled by a certain former Rangers and Liverpool manager. That Souness knows how to create a happy camp.

Bowyer got angry at Dyer for the age old reason that the latter never passed the ball to the former. They took things from there. For some reason Gareth Barry decided it would be in his interest to play peacemaker. A more Machiavellian opponent would have let the pair of them kill each other.


As Dyer detailed recently, Graeme Souness reacted prudently in the dressing room:

I didn’t know you could get sent off for fighting your own team-mate, so when the red card came out I thought, ‘What the hell!’ I was sent off first and I was waiting in the tunnel to get some revenge. He came in, and we had two massive masseurs and they just dunked us on their shoulders. It was like a cartoon when your feet are dangling off the ground and we were trying to get at each other. We are sat in the changing room and they were in the middle of us. I was thinking how I could get to him. Then we heard the final whistle. Boumsong came in and said, ‘If you want to fight, fight now.’ I was wanting to fight and get the revenge. Then Souness came in and said, ‘If you want to fight I’ll beat both of you’



David Batty v Graeme Le Saux

Blackburn’s season in the Champions League has been more or less forgotten – a fact which pleases many people, most notably the staff and players of Blackburn Rovers Football Club, circa 1995-96.

Graeme  Le Saux and David Batty more than anyone. Blackburn were spanked 3-0 by Spartak Moscow and it was all too much for those two.

Apparently Batty was annoyed by Le Saux taking the ball off him and then losing it. Le Saux, in turn, was annoyed by Batty's annoyance.


Cue punches thrown and headlines with the word 'SHAME' in them the following morning.



Artur Boruc v Lee Naylor

Boruc had been learning from Grobbelaar clearly. He delivered a textbook face shove in the direction of Lee Naylor after Celtic conceded against Spartak Moscow (them again?) in the Champions League. The goalkeeper was clearly the aggressor and apologised afterwards.


Luis Amor Rodriguez v Didier Baptiste

One of the most dramatic last day escapes in the history of Sky One's ill-fated but often absurdly dramatic coverage of the Premier League, Harchester United needed to beat Spurs on the final day of the season to stay up.

With the game deadlocked, they won a penalty late on.

Rodriguez - who in the course of a chaotic season for the Dragons, had been appointed player-manager in his first season in English football - was the team's normal penalty taker and stepped up to take it.

However, in an incredible display of petulance, French midfielder Didier Baptiste wrestled the ball off Rodriguez and after a bout of pushing and shoving, insisted he was taking the penalty himself.

Baptiste took what can be only be described as a suspiciously poor penalty and Spurs keeper Ian Walker dived low to save. But fortunately for Harchester, the Spurs defenders were ludicrously slow to react and Rodriguez bashed in the rebound.



Trevor Francis v the laughing substitute keeper from Latvia

Not strictly teammates but worthy of inclusion nonetheless. Managing a English football team is a stressful business. And it only gets more stressful when you're not in the Premier League - actually the lower you go the more stressful it gets as evidenced by every U10's match ever.

Then Palace manager Trevor Francis was sent to the stands after a scuffle with his Latvian sub keeper Alexander Kolinko. Francis claimed his sub keeper had reacted to a Bradford City goal by 'laughing'. We're not sure whether it was a particularly funny goal or whether one of his compadres on the bench had just uttered a dashing witticism but Francis wasn't interested in explanation.

Laughing so soon after a Bradford City goal was a no-no for him and he clocked him on the nose.

Kolinko has to learn - comedy = tragedy + time. The '+time' bit is important.

See also: Heroes Of Harchester: Luis Amor Rodriguez

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